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Castle Lager announce sponsorship of Surrey Championship.

South African Breweries have announced that Castle Lager and Footjoy will be sponsoring the Surrey Championship for the 2001 season. The Surrey Championship is the premier club cricket league in Surrey and regularly features a number of past and present Surrey County players.

The value of the sponsorship is in the region of 20,000 and the brewery have an option to extend for a further two years should they so wish.

The definitive ratings for Test Cricket Nations

The following test cricket ratings have been updated after England defeated Sri Lanka in their three Test series in Sri Lanka on 17 March 2001.

  1. Australia 1204

  2. South Africa 1150

  3. England 1059

  4. Pakistan 1053

  5. West Indies 1025

  6. India 1011

  7. New Zealand 988

  8. Sri Lanka 973

  9. Zimbabwe 911

  10. Bangladesh 876p

Note: Bangladesh has a provisional rating until they complete ten test matches.

England defeated Sri Lanka to claim their fourth series win in a row. England retains third place in the ratings and has extended their lead over fourth placed Pakistan. England has now set their highest rating since 1986. Sri Lanka is now 15 points behind New Zealand and remains in eighth place in the ratings.

England Do It Again

Graham Thorpe was the hero again for England as they completed a sensational victory over Sri Lanka in Colombo. This sealed a 2-1 series win, the fourth in a row for the buoyant England team.

Spectators witnessed an incredible day of Test Cricket that saw 22 wickets fall. Early in the day England would have been disappointed to collapse to 249 All Out with Thorpe unbeaten on 113. What was to follow was beyond belief and even surpassed England’s exploits in Karachi. Sri Lanka collapsed to just 81 in their second innings unable to withstand the excellent pressure applied by all four of the bowlers used . Gough and Caddick started the slump and then spinners then came on to finish the job. Ashley Giles was back on form with a superb 4 for 11 including the key wicket of Jayawardene.

The England chase for 74 was not plain sailing but Thorpe was again the hero with an unbeaten on 32, he watched in triumph as Ashley Giles hit the winning run off Sri Lankan captain Sanath Jayasuriya to secure a three wicket victory..

This completes England’s most successful winter since retaining the Ashes in Australia in 1986-7 and captain Nasser Hussain commented that “If it was good in Pakistan it is twice as good here.”

“When we went one down at Galle we were outplayed. It takes some fine players and a lot of character to come back”.

“Karachi was pretty good, Lord’s was good - but me and my lads will remember this ground for a long, long time.”

Coach Duncan Fletcher paid tribute to the team spirit he and Hussain have worked so hard to create by saying “These guys just want to play well for each other and make sure we win as many games as we can for England.

Graham Thorpe earned the man of the match award for his heroic display and he later admitted he was totally exhausted.

Darren Gough who enjoys golf in his spare time won the man-of-the-series award.

Aloe Vera in Sport

The strain of training and competition can take its toll on sportsmen and women and they may turn to substances that aid their performance. Many of these substances do not have the necessary medical research to identify any potentially harmful contents or side effects.

Many sporting organisations including golfing are now being drawn to Aloe Vera. Its a completely natural product with no side effects and is known to be beneficial to the digestive and immune systems and aid treatment of acute injuries. If this is correct then this will have immense future benefits in all sports and in particular it could be used to prevent and treat chronic conditions and avert fatigue.

Aloe Vera comes in liquid or lotion form so it can be taken externally and internally. Aloe Vera is known to have excellent penetrating qualities which makes it ideal for application to tired or damaged muscles. It is also a natural antibiotic and painkiller and will reduce inflammation.

Aloe Vera is packed with at least 30 vitamins and also 7 of the 8 amino acids essential to the human body.

It is already used by American Football teams including the Dallas Cowboys, if it is beneficial in a sport as demanding as this then it must be of similar benefit elsewhere. Former NFL star Herschel Walker was initially sceptical about the benefits but after using Aloe Vera for several months he noticed great improvement to the swelling in his knees caused by 15 years of professional football. Perhaps cricket can draw upon this experience for maintaining player fitness and in treatting chronic injuries.